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Assam’s own ‘Nayak’; CM Sarma’smart moves for smart-state

His “Nayak”-like image in project management helped in the fast implementation of major central projects in the past.

At a time when organizing annual investment summits and churning out big numbers which will never materialize (learn from West Bengal) became a fashion, Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma is not looking at joining the race.

He is instead directing his energy in fast-forwarding the pace of infrastructure creation.

While his predecessors may claim the credit for planning most of it, Sarma is aiming to see them done in the shortest possible time.

A flyover in Guwahati was recently completed in 22 months, 14 months ahead of schedule. A few more are under construction, and all are ahead of schedule.

Currently, Guwahati has one bridge across the Brahmaputra, and three more (at different ends of the city) are under construction. The Chief Minister promised to complete them in his term only and one will be in place in 2023.

The Central government is picking up the tab to build a ring road in Guwahati. The National Highways Authority of India is adding several over-bridges and underpasses to smoothen vehicular traffic along the highway passing through the outer limits of the city.

The aim is to convert Guwahati into a mega-city, spread on either side of the Brahmaputra, in the quickest possible time.

Northeast doesn’t have a history of such fast movement. But even his opponents will agree that Sarma is capable of doing that. He is using the state public works department (PWD) as a vehicle for passing quick construction mandates and makes it a personal responsibility to see the projects are through in time.

His “Nayak”-like image in project management helped in the fast implementation of major central projects in the past. When BJP came to power in Assam, there were only three bridges on the Brahmaputra that runs across its breadth.

Now, Assam has six bridges. Three more bridges are under construction. The Centre has recently taken up two more bridge projects (Dhubri-Phulbari 19 km and Jorhat Majuli 8 km) and one tunnel (Numaligarh-Gohpur 15.6 km). The State government planned another bridge from Majuli to Lakhimpur.

Connectivity is important everywhere. But it is closer to the hearts in the northeast which suffered due to poor logistics for too long. There was no dearth of planning.

The problem was in ground implementation. Even declared the National Projects like Bogibeel bridge or Agartala rail link suffered prolonged delays.

First Published: 10th May, 2022 15:48 IST

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